The Demand Solutions Blog

The Fill Down Function: A Fast Way to Repeat Excel Formulas

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Sep 12, 2018 9:48:49 AM

I’ve often had customers watch me work in an Excel sheet and ask about various shortcuts they see me use. So, this is the first in a series of occasional blogs on Excel tips and tricks I hope you find useful. 

If you’re not familiar with the “fill down” function, this is a great way to repeat a formula down a column. For example, let’s say that you have a row of unit types with the number of expiring leases and the number of renewals and you want to calculate the renewal rate as the number of renewals divided by the number expirations. In the example below, you can see that the studio rate is 58.3%. 

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Topics: Technology, property management

The Multifamily Executive's Quick Access Guide to Artificial Intelligence

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jun 15, 2018 4:00:00 PM

There’s a lot of buzz about artificial intelligence (AI) these days, so much so that it’s hard to separate the reality from the hype. Add to that the fact that multifamily housing (MFH) is typically a technology laggard, and it’s easy to assume that MFH executives can afford to wait a few years to see how things shake out before worrying at all about AI. Yet AI is potentially applicable to any business process that has measurable data inputs and a complex process to get to outcomes that are also measurable—a description that matches many MFH processes.

Not surprisingly, AI has been accompanied by a tremendous amount of hype, myth and confusion. To help MFH executives makes some sense of AI, we’ve put together a quick guide on the key areas where AI can (and often should) impact your operation. We highlight:

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Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Future, Technology, Multifamily Trends

MTEC Wrap-up: 5 Key Takeaways

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Mar 13, 2018 4:00:00 PM

I just got back from the 2018 edition of MTEC, the Multifamily Technology Entrepreneur’s Conference, and I must say I was unusually impressed with the quality of the content. Here are a few of my key takeaways:

1. The MFH tech ecosystem is getting stronger.
MTEC set record attendance with more than 160 attendees. Given the somewhat lagging nature of tech in MFH, this bodes well for the future. There was a wide range of tech companies from both an “area of focus” and a “maturity of business” perspective. One of the highlights each year is the “Shark Tank”-style presentation of new businesses. In past years, I confess to feeling that some (even half) of the presenters simply did not have a compelling enough business proposition to be worth my time listening. This year, there were 10 presenters and each held my attention as I could see a need for all of them.

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Topics: Technology, Multifamily Trends

A Tipping Point on AirBnB?

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jan 5, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Typically, press releases in our industry are more “promotion” than news, but a press release this past December 18 might just be a critical exception to prove that rule.

This release announced that Brookfield Properties has invested $200 million in Niido, a new home-sharing concept launched in partnership with AirBnB. The investment will fuel developments and acquisitions of communities that will be branded as “Niido powered by AirBnB.” Residents in these communities will be able to rent their units through AirBnB for up to 180 days a year. The communities will also be “optimized for home sharing and flexible living,” though details were not provided in the release.

Why might this be a tipping point? Up until now, participation with AirBnB has seemed to be mostly smaller operators. I have a strong sense there are some bigger players testing out allowing various forms of homesharing, but they’ve been doing so in a very quiet and secretive manner. The only large company to publicly stake out a strong position is Aimco, and they did so by suing AirBnB in an effort to prevent homesharing.

Now, for the first time, a large company is publicly on record that they are openly investing in this concept, and in partnership with AirBnB; and few, if any, companies are more well respected and more thoughtful about their approach than Brookfield.

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Topics: Future, Millennials, Multifamily Trends, Technology

Multifamily Technology: Are Marketing & Sales Human Anymore?

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Aug 25, 2017 2:00:00 PM

As we come upon the fall conference season and many panels (and one whole conference) dedicated to technology in multifamily housing, it got me thinking. When I first started working in this industry, it was very clear that we were real estate companies using technology; but now I wonder if we’re becoming technology companies running real estate?

Give the importance of buy/sell decisions and the amount of human resources dedicated to operating individual properties, the answer is probably that we’re still the former; but it may not be so clear cut…and the pendulum may swing dramatically over the next decade. Consider the following:

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Topics: Technology, Artificial Intelligence, business intelligence

Business Communication Tools: Email vs. Slack, Which Do You Prefer?

Posted by Ellen Salzler on Jun 16, 2017 6:00:00 PM

This week's blog post was written by our guest author, Ellen Salzler from Imagine Business Development. 

Google search the app, Slack and you’ll find that there’s plenty of debate on how it affects work communication. The most frequent topic I’ve come across is the battle between Slack and email. “Is Slack killing email?” and, “Will email be nixed now that Slack is available?” As we’ve written before, email is a powerful tool. But adding instant communication tools like Slack to your workspace is far from a bad thing. Here are a few pros and cons of both.

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Topics: Future, Millennials, Multifamily Trends, Technology